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Heavy bass players, I feel your pain...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ausf, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. ausf


    Jun 24, 2008
    New York
    I guess I was spoiled by Ricks in my early days and most recently a Highway 1 P, so I never really understood what you guys were going through heavy basses.

    Today I stopped by a friends place to see his new Martin. He wanted to jam, so he handed me his Alembic. I literally almost fell over because I wasn't expecting the weight. It has to be at least twice as heavy as my P. After about 20 minutes of not digging the bass at all, I grabbed his '78 P, which was more homey, but still no walk in the park in terms of weight.

    Later on I was having dinner with the wife and she remarked that I kept rubbing my neck and shoulder. At first, I didn't realize why it was aching, but putting two and two together, I don't know how you could handle that weight on one shoulder for 3 sets.
  2. Elemetal


    Mar 10, 2006
    ****** deal. I have always really dealt with heavier basses mainly because I mainly play 6 string basses. Nothing a thick comfy strap can't handle though. My custom Stambaugh I got is pretty decently heavy and I don't mind but I'm used to it. I say if you have a thick enough strap it really evens it out. Right now on my custom Stambaugh I'm using a strap from talkbass the moody leather bass strap and I must say it's by far the best strap ever.

    I guess I don't really have pain so don't feel pity for me even though my bass is ****ing heavy.
  3. RayO5421


    Jan 15, 2007
    Toms River NJ
    Agreed, heavy basses are no fun. Well, actually they can be very fun but I'd rather play something that balances well and is light and comfortable (and sounds good too obviously!). For a bass, my Ash Deluxe Fender P is really light for a bass.
  4. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Pensacola, FL.
    Weight is the main reason I'm now just storing my two Wals for the most part!
  5. ausf


    Jun 24, 2008
    New York

    Easy Conan. While I'm glad to hear that there still are men of steel around, I was just commenting that I now appreciate all the threads I have read that discuss lightening the load.

    Strapping on a neck diving boat anchor is no fun, regardless of what you can bench press IMO.
  6. ugh, warwicks, i played one in guitar center, it was horribly heavy, and that was sitting down
  7. sasquatchofohio


    Apr 12, 2008
    ever played a traben phoenix 5 string? they gotta be one of the heaviest basses out there
  8. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    You callin' me fat?:spit:

  9. T40Chump


    Jul 12, 2008
    Plano, TX
    My opinion (and that is all it is) is that relaxing the shoulder muscle makes a huge difference in felt weight. I think in the past I would tighten my shoulder without knowing it and end up with lots of fatigue.

    I play a T40 so I feel your pain. But, since I've worked on relaxing the shoulder, it has helped out a lot. So really, I suppose I feel a lot less of your pain...:)

  10. alembicguy

    alembicguy I operate the worlds largest heavey equipment Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    I don't know how you could handle that weight on one shoulder for 3 sets.[/QUOTE]

    Try 4 to 6 hours for some shows Ive done.
  11. djwackfriz


    Jul 31, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Care to elaborate?!?! my T-40 has me practically having to ice up after a set. Though it's always worth the sound...
  12. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    I've a very inexpensive Yamaha RBX which is SUPER light. It's not my main bass, but wow, it would certainly be a back-saver if I ever had any back or physical issues. Pay attention to your back. Buy/use a lighter bass, or if you can, see if you can sit on a stool or at least have one to sit for a moment in between songs, or during a few. During those times, your shoulder will be supporting less of the weight of the bass, potentially splitting the load with your thigh.

    And of course, it's no good for your back to have a superlight bass, if you're lugging around a monster amp. There's great gear out there that's reasonably light (or lighter...) and sounds good and can do a good job for most of the music. At least IMO. And a good hand cart helps too.


    Good luck to you.
  13. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    Perhaps raises the question of if ANY instrument/amp is worth it, if it disables or compromises your health in the long-term?

    I think not, but I'm sure some will disagree.

  14. I've played 4-5 set gigs most of my bass playing career, I don't even think about the weight of a bass. All basses I've owned have always been comfortable, wearing one around your neck is second nature too me.:smug:
  15. amimbari


    May 6, 2008
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I agree with T40Chump

    The pain? is it supposed to hurt?

    I'm 5'7 and about 140, and have worn a 15lb bass on my shoulder for 10 years with a wide comfy strap and never KNEW there was such thing as a lighter bass. I'm so USED to the weight, that my other basses, feels like playtoys especially my 8lb Samick AS5 that I should be flipping around my head.

    my point was, regardless of size, people have figured out how to correctly balance the load on their shoulders as with many competitive sports where the same applies.

    Remember SWAT/ArmedForces..etc must wear 40-60lb packs on themselves for hours at a time, in horrible conditions compared to standing on a stage but if the load is well balanced, it physically feels lighter and can be endured for a much longer time.
  16. Strongjag


    Aug 14, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Endorsing Artist: Beards.

    Well said. I was in the light infantry and was the section machine gunner. Heavier gun, higher ammo load. But once I learned how to pack my kit right and balance myself not only side to side but front to back I felt almost floaty when it wasn't on. I think those of you with heavier basses (I'm decently spoiled in that regard) Should invest in a wider strap and watch your posture maybe. I know that always helped me out.
  17. What bass do you own that weighs 15 lbs.?:eyebrow:

  18. +1

    Big, wide comfortable padded strap. Always made the difference for me.
  19. dogbass

    dogbass Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2006
    Bay Area, CA
    I got rid of a 9 lb J bass that dove like it was going for an Olympic medal and have been gigging for the past two years with a perfectly balanced 11+ lb. L2000. For me, the balance and feel are more important than the weight. And I'm no Conan.
  20. DaneB


    May 25, 2008
    Western Australia
    I personally hate the feel of a really light bass. I played a guys' cheap P-bass ripoff that felt like it was made of styrofoam. Sounded like it, too.

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